We got back here to England late on Saturday…
…at the end of our two day visit over to northern France:
Now, it’s Monday. Ugh. So let’s try to have a smile or two.
Is it possible to write a strong, deep, genuine relationship that readers will care about *without* any sex scenes?… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Brooke Boveri (@BoveriBrooke) October 26, 2019
Let’s discuss sex.
Presumably I have now your full attention! LOL!
Kidding aside, as to literary issues raised by that tweet. (“MC” in that tweet is writer-shorthand for “main character,” not “master of ceremonies.” We writers are a brilliant bunch, aren’t we? LOL!) I write “romantic” historical fiction, so those are a perpetual consideration for me. I see the writing challenge as encompassing several major points:
1) Most relationships between men and women are not sexual. Yet a relationship may as we know lead to love and then to marriage and then to sex (to be quite proper about it) or in whatever other order. 😉 It has been that way forever.
2) There is a difference, I believe, between a “genuine” relationship (not as in the euphemism for sex, i. e., “They had relations…”) and with “romantic” love. Sex certainly *requires* neither a “genuine” relationship or “romantic” love. One may also of course have a “genuine” relationship that is not driven by “romantic” love… although that latter has a tendency to take hold – and unfortunately perhaps sadly from only one direction – unpredictably and without warning.
As writers, our life experiences invariably make their ways into what we write; indeed I would argue they should because they inject the fiction with useful reality. For example a conversational exchange about “relationships” I’d had over lunch in the 1990s with a then woman friend while working in a university on Long Island, New York was one I had never forgotten. Of course I used THAT gem years later above in one of my “modern” novels.
I had my “relationship” views back in my twenties and young thirties and those views have, I feel, matured in the decades since due to my marriage. I enjoy seeing now what is written by those of the age I was then; their views too are bound to evolve with life experience. For instance, “New Lune” recently had a post on her “love life” that seems to hit home with others in “her generation” and has attracted masses of comments.
3) I do write “sex scenes”… depending on what your definition is of them. I try to write them from the standpoint of understanding my readership: adults who know what sex is and may even have it. Therefore being detailed is unnecessary: the imagination, we are all aware, may also be the most, uh, well, you know what I mean…
4) However, like that tweeter I don’t actually really much like writing “sex scenes.” (Nor do I like writing violence either.) I suspect many other authors don’t. Doing so is particularly dangerous because if not written well a “sex scene” may end up laughable reading.
Which takes me to the tweet’s question: 5) How to depict the relationship between a husband and a wife *without* writing “sex scenes” between the couple is… up to the author. Depending on the nature of the tale, readers may not even expect them. It is pretty easy merely to allude to the act and go no, uh, further.
In fact if I’m honest, I find I am increasingly bored by sex scenes in films and on TV: “Yeh, yeh,” I think, “I know what they’re doing. Can we please get back to the story now?” Which may be why I’m also careful about them in my books. I presume if I feel that way, so do others. It is necessary to strike the right “balance.” The actual act is, I suspect, really only “fascinating” to some…
…and that may be so perhaps because they have not, uh, done “it.” Such has also always been the case.
I hope I made you smile a bit at some of that post. 😉
Have a good day, wherever you are. 🙂